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§Play Slick Migration Guide

This is a guide for migrating from Play Slick v0.8 to v1.0, v1.1 or v2.0.0.

It assumes you have already migrated your project to use Play 2.5 (see Play 2.5 Migration Guide), that you have read the Slick 3.1 documentation, and are ready to migrate your Play application to use the new Slick Database I/O Actions API.

§Build changes

Update the Play Slick dependency in your sbt build to match the version provided in the Setup section.

§Removed H2 database dependency

Previous releases of Play Slick used to bundle the H2 database library. That’s no longer the case. Hence, if you want to use H2 you will need to explicitly add it to your project’s dependencies:

"com.h2database" % "h2" % "${H2_VERSION}" // replace `${H2_VERSION}` with an actual version number

§Evolutions support in a separate module

Support for database evolutions used to be included with Play Slick. That’s no longer the case. Therefore, if you are using evolutions, you now need to add an additional dependency to play-slick-evolutions as explained here.

While, if you are not using evolutions, you can now safely remove evolutionplugin=disabled from your application.conf.

§Database configuration

With the past releases of Slick Play (which used Slick 2.1 or earlier), you used to configure Slick datasources exactly like you would configure Play JDBC datasources. This is no longer the case, and the following configuration will now be ignored by Play Slick:


There are several reasons for this change. First, the above is not a valid Slick configuration. Second, starting in Slick 3, you configure not just the datasource, but also both a connection pool and a thread pool. Therefore, it makes sense for Play Slick to use an entirely different path for configuring Slick databases. The default path for Slick configuration is now slick.dbs.

Here is how you would need to migrate the above configuration:

slick.dbs.default.driver="slick.driver.H2Driver$" # You must provide the required Slick driver! 

Note: If your database configuration contains settings for the connection pool, be aware that you will need to migrate those settings as well. However, this may be a bit trickier, because Play 2.3 default connection pool used to be BoneCP, while the default Slick 3 connection pool is HikariCP. Read here for how to configure the connection pool.

§Automatic Slick driver detection

Play Slick used to automatically infer the needed Slick driver from the datasource configuration. This feature was removed, hence you must provide the Slick driver to use, for each Slick database configuration, in your application.conf.

The rationale for removing this admittedly handy feature is that we want to accept only valid Slick configurations. Furthermore, it’s not always possible to automatically detect the correct Slick driver from the database configuration (if this was possible, then Slick would already provide such functionality).

Therefore, you will need to make the following changes:

§DBAction and DBSessionRequest were removed

Play Slick used to provide a DBAction that was useful for:

DBAction was indeed handy when using Slick 2.1. However, with the new Slick 3 release, we don’t need it anymore. The reason is that Slick 3 comes with a new asynchronous API (a.k.a., Database I/O Actions API) that doesn’t need the user to manipulate neither a Session nor a Connection. This makes DBSessionRequest and DBAction, together with its close friends CurrentDBAction and PredicatedDBAction, completely obsolete, which is why they have been removed.

Having said that, migrating your code should be as simple as changing all occurrences of DBAction and friends, with the standard Play Action.async. Click here for an example.

§Thread Pool

Play Slick used to provide a separate thread pool for executing controller’s actions requiring to access a database. Slick 3 already does exactly this, hence there is no longer a need for Play Slick to create and manage additional thread pools. It follows that the below configuration parameter are effectively obsolete and should be removed from your applications.conf:


The parameter db.$dbName.maxQueriesPerRequest was used to limit the number of tasks queued in the thread pool. In Slick 3 you can reach similar results by tuning the configuration parameters numThreads and queueSize. Read the Slick ScalaDoc for [Database.forConfig]($DatabaseFactoryDef@forConfig(String,Config,Driver,ClassLoader):Database) (make sure to expand the forConfig row in the doc).

While the parameter slick.db.execution.context was used to name the thread pools created by Play Slick. In Slick 3, each thread pool is named using the Slick database configuration path, i.e., if in your application.conf you have provided a Slick configuration for the database named default, then Slick will create a thread pool named default for executing the database action on the default database. Note that the name used for the thread pool is not configurable.

§Profile was removed

The trait Profile was removed and you can use instead HasDatabaseConfigProvider or HasDatabaseConfig with similar results.

The trait to use depend on what approach you select to retrieve a Slick database and driver (i.e., an instance of DatabaseConfig). If you decide to use dependency injection, then HasDatabaseConfigProvider will serve you well. Otherwise, use HasDatabaseConfig.

Read here for a discussion of how to use dependency injection vs global lookup to retrieve an instance of DatabaseConfig.

§Database was removed

The object Database was removed. To retrieve a Slick database and driver (i.e., an instance of DatabaseConfig) read here.

§Config was removed

The Config object, together with SlickConfig and DefaultSlickConfig, were removed. These abstractions are simply not needed. If you used to call Config.driver or Config.datasource to retrieve the Slick driver and database, you should now use DatabaseConfigProvider. Read here for details.

§SlickPlayIteratees was removed

If you were using SlickPlayIteratees.enumerateSlickQuery to stream data from the database, you will be happy to know that doing so became a lot easier. Slick 3 implements the reactive-streams SPI (Service Provider Interface), and Play 2.5 provides a utility class to handily convert a reactive stream into a Play enumerator.

In Slick, you can obtain a reactive stream by calling the method stream on a Slick database instance (instead of the eager run). To convert the stream into an enumerator simply call play.api.libs.streams.Streams.publisherToEnumerator, passing the stream in argument.

For a full example, have a look at this sample project.

§DDL support was removed

Previous versions of Play Slick included a DDL plugin which would read your Slick tables definitions, and automatically creates schema updates on reload. While this is an interesting and useful feature, the underlying implementation was fragile, and and relied on the assumption that your tables would be accessible via a module (i.e., a Scala object). This coding pattern was possible because Play Slick allowed to import the Slick driver available via a top-level import. However, because support for automatic detection of the Slick driver was removed, you will not declare a top-level import for the Slick driver. This implies that Slick tables will no longer be accessible via a module. This fact breaks the assumption made in the initial implementation of the DDL plugin, and it’s the reason why the feature was removed.

The consequence of the above is that you are in charge of creating and managing your project’s database schema. Therefore, whenever you make a change a Slick table in the code, make sure to also update the database schema. If you find it tedious to manually keep in sync your database schema and the related table definition in your code, you may want to have a look at the code generation feature available in Slick.

Next: Play Slick advanced topics